The Tab Eats: Tom’s Cakes
Have your cake and eat it too (in a covid-safe way)!
Okay so this article is probably making its debut at the worst time. With an impending second lockdown (I know, you’re probably sick of hearing about it), eating out will sadly soon become a distant memory (not sad for my bank account, though).
Or maybe it’s coming at a good time. Get to Tom’s cakes before they close on Wednesday (at 5pm, by the way) or live vicariously through this article. You could even recreate their iconic cakes at home (like we did with Jack’s Gelato that one time). Lockdown meals can get boring very fast.
Though I can’t promise that the rest of the article is Covid-free, keep reading for a light-hearted food review (with pictures, of course) to decide whether or not Tom’s Cakes makes it to your post-lockdown eats list!
The place is actually really cute! As someone who is an expert food-spender (my parents would not be proud), the layout is tidy and makes good use of the relatively small place. If you’re into indie coffee places, you will definitely love Tom’s Cakes – you know, vintage lighting and wooden furniture.
I know you’re eager to get onto the food portion of this article but one more thing I really liked about Tom’s Cakes were the little shelves and displays of packaged cookies and cake loaves. They looked SO good.
Lemon, Elderflower & Blueberry Cake for £2.80 (7/10) + Oat Cappuccino for £3 (6.5/10)
Let’s start off with the coffee. Not that I’m a coffee expert but it definitely tasted “proper”. If you like rich tasting and strong coffee, their cappuccino is probably the right choice for you. Whilst I certainly enjoyed my cup (plus oat milk is always great), I think it might have been a bit too on the bitter side for my liking. What can I say? I’m weak. Having said that (!), when paired with the sweetness of their goodies, it definitely balances out.
The cake was so delicious. Obviously, it looked really pretty as well. The elderflower syrup had soaked through the cake making it perfectly (sorry to those of you that hate the word) *moist* without ruining the texture. The blueberries, as with most fruit cakes had sunken to the base of the layers (honestly that’s gravity for you) but they added a really nice burst of flavour in each bite. It was a nice summer/spring flavour that made up for the awful weather.
I love lemon anything so this cake was suited to my tastes. It was very tangy and the icing may have been a tad too sweet but I still ate everything so honestly why am I still typing? It was good. I would eat it again. And another 10 times after that.
Red Velvet Cake for £2.80 (9/10) + a Mocha for £2.80 (6/10)
I have a (painfully) sweet tooth, so the mocha unfortunately disappointed. It didn’t taste much of chocolate and was very strong, which seems a common theme with Tom’s Cakes – but caffeine is caffeine, and I was very buzzed afterwards, so it still gets a middling score. I also somehow managed to dunk my own necklace into my coffee and then get it all over my shirt. So, if anyone knows how to get rid of coffee stains, please PM me. The whole experience was a bit tragic, but that’s not entirely the coffee’s fault. It’s my fault.
Ok moving onto the cake. It was delicious, and, just like Sinthu said, actually ended up pairing with my coffee quite well! Dense, moist, buttery, all the yummy-and-slightly-weird-sounding words you’d hear coming out of Paul and Prue’s mouth, that’s what I’d use to describe this cake. The icing was a bit thick and, nearer the end of the slice, it did feel a bit too sweet – Red Velvet is always a heavy choice – but I’m not a quitter and managed to finish the whole thing thanks to my slightly-bitter coffee. Yay me.
The picture below shows the prices of their coffee selection!
It’s a small business, so there isn’t a huge amount of inside-seating available, but all the expected coronavirus guidelines are met: the tables are socially distanced, the barista wipes down the tables after every use, and masks must be worn around the shop unless you are seated. There was never a moment where we felt uncomfortable! So, if you want to unwind with a flatmate before lockdown 2.0 officially begins, or even just grab a takeaway coffee + cake, Tom’s Cakes is a safe (and tasty!) bet. I’d stock up on their packaged cookies before it’s too late (they also do collection/delivery!).